Seeing Spots Tuesday, Aug 14 2012 

As I mentioned yesterday, I love fall. Fall clothing is by far my favorite and if I lived in a cooler climate, I would dress for fall year-round. Since fall fashions are starting to drop in stores, I thought it would be fun to detail some of the fall trends. Every season is rife with new trends and it’s rare that any one person adopts all the trends. (And frankly, that should stay rare. :)) So I’m going to dedicate a post to each of the fall trends that I’m loving, one by one.

The first trend that I noticed recently, especially in my most recent JCrew catalog, was polka-dots. Polka-dots can look young and frilly, but JCrew is showing them in a fresh way. Their take is definitely classically chic. Here are a few pieces from JCrew that I would consider adding to my fall wardrobe:

This dress is what really caught my eye and made me think: “I need more polka dots in my wardrobe!” I love how it feels ladylike and polished, yet very current.

I’ve been obsessing over tie-neck blouses for sometime now. They give off a very chic, polished, woman-in-charge feel, but with a bit of softness. I think it’s a little reminiscent of the Mad Men-era wardrobe that’s been so hot the last few seasons.

I especially love that this skirt is A-line. The full skirt has definitely taken a back seat in recent years to the tailored pencil skirt. While I love the polish and style of a pencil skirt, it’s not the best fit for everyone. I have a small waist and curvy hips, so I’ve never found a pencil skirt I feel comfortable in. And I’m not interested in accentuating my “junk in the trunk” a la Kim Kardashian.

If the tiny polka-dots still feel a little too prim and proper for you, JCrew also offers an exaggerated style.

Whenever I get around to shopping for fall, I will definitely be trying on some of these items. Hopefully, at least one sticks and I can add some spots to my closet. What do you think of the polka-dot trend?

All images pulled from JCrew.com.

 

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To Sparkle or Not to Sparkle? Monday, Aug 6 2012 

I had a conversation with with my best friend this weekend about a sequin top for a night on the town and whether it was age-appropriate. My answer to her was yes. Sequins have always been acceptable at night. Her question formed around the fact that her friends were going to a fun restaurant, but nothing super glitzy and glam. Designers have really improved sequins over the years and made them more subtle and more wearable. My friend was pairing hers with jeans, so my answer was still a yes.

I think an even bigger conundrum with sequins is whether to wear them during the day, specifically at work. First, you have to gauge the actual dress code at your office (actual meaning what people really wear as opposed to what’s written in the formal handbook). If your office environment is uber-conservative or dressier than business casual, I think sequins are a no-go. But if you work in a creative environment or some place that’s more business casual, I think you can pull off the look. I did a quick browse on ShopStyle.com and found some sequin tops that I think are work-appropriate.

I think this last one is probably the most versatile because it’s not covered in sequins and upon a zoom-in, they look more like beads than sparkly, shiny sequins. The key to any of these tops is layering – wear them under a blazer or cardigan so that they don’t scream for attention. Keep your bottom and top layer on the simpler side to tone down the sequins. And keep jewelry to a minimum.

Sequins are a great way to add some pop and texture to your outfit. Plus, when paired well, it’s a subtle way to stand out.

What do you think? Would you dare wear sequins to work?

All images pulled from ShopStyle.com and confirmed on the specific retailer’s website.

 

Make a Statement Wednesday, Jun 27 2012 

I love accessories and firmly believe that a statement necklace can make an outfit. You can wear them with just about anything in any situation. Adding a statement necklace to a suit expresses your personality and confidence. Pop one on with a classic tee, jeans and flats for an upgraded casual look. The statement necklace broke into the style scene several years ago, and has morphed from a trend to a classic accessory.

Most of my statement necklaces fall in the “metal” colors – they are either all gold, or all silver or a mix of one of those with lucite or other textures. I have been trying to incorporate more colorful jewelry into my wardrobe. If I were adding some more statement necklaces to my collection – and although I always want to be adding more clothes, handbags, accessories and shoes to my life, I’m trying to make more thoughtful purchases and fill holes in my wardrobe – I would definitely snatch up these two:

kate spade new york “paisley park” necklace – $178 at Nordstrom

 

Bubble Necklace – $150 from JCrew

This one comes in a variety of colors other than “azalea pink” – turquoise, black, navy, white and a bright yellow.

Although these necklaces aren’t cheap, I typically find that when I buy a piece of jewelry that’s this unique, I wear it constantly. So I always get my money’s worth.

Do you wear statement necklaces? Have you been eyeing any to add to your collection lately?

Umbrella, ella, ella….. Tuesday, Jun 19 2012 

Today was one of those weird weather days. There was a chance of rain, so I made sure to have an umbrella with me. (It never actually rained in my area, but there was a dark, menacing cloud in the sky on my way home.) I love having cute umbrellas and treat them as an accessory. I have two that I love. One is a black and white hounds-tooth print and the other is a combo of yellow, navy and white in a cute pattern. My navy, yellow and white umbrella is currently lost. I know it’s in the house somewhere, I just have to keep hunting. So I made sure to put the hounds-tooth umbrella in my purse.

I realize that umbrellas serve a more functional purpose, but I feel like a cute umbrella is a bonus accessory. Plus, they make great gifts – my yellow, navy and white one was a gift from Leslie, owner of Dress Shop. There are so many options today that you can find one to fit your style perfectly. I perused the web for just 5 minutes and found 3 that are cute and affordable:

This “Futai Tina T Argyle” print umbrella can be found at Target for just $19.99. Argyle is a classic print and looks current with the popularity right now of graphic prints.

 

I found this “totes Morocco Slender ‘brella” on the Totes website. It’s just $20. The pattern is bold but the colors are muted and sophisticated enough to keep this from being flashy.

 

This pocket umbrella from JCrew is the perfect spin on animal print – the black, white and brown keeps it classic. It’s also a steal at just $26.50.

Do you have a cute umbrella? If not, what color and/or pattern would you love to have to top off your style?

 

Copycat Thursday, Dec 8 2011 

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it on this blog several times, but I am loving JCrew lately. Their clothes are a fresh twist on classic and their styling is unique and impeccable. Browsing through their catalog is fashion eye candy for me. If I lived in a make-believe world where money was unlimited, I would spend hours in there buying every piece of clothing and styling it exactly the way they do.

But in the real world, especially this time of year, I’m saving my pennies to buy gifts for my loved ones. So while flipping through the catalog a few nights ago, I decided to venture into my closet to see what I owned to create my own JCrew-inspired look. And lo and behold…

I’ve had all of these pieces for sometime now, and although this outfit doesn’t quite have the color and pattern mixing that they do, I thought it was a pretty good representation. I felt great in it. To keep it even more current, I paired it with my chunky loafers that my fabulous, generous mom bought for me recently:

So maybe I’m a fashion copycat, but this was a great reminder to use what I already have to emulate looks that inspire me. Easy and free.

Have you come up with creative new combinations from clothes already in your closet lately?

Browsing Saturday, Nov 19 2011 

I braved the mall today to do a teensy bit of shopping. It’s already starting to feel like Christmas – the mall was packed. I’m trying to be a little more cost-conscious this year, so I didn’t spend a lot of time. I focused on the two gifts that I needed to purchase now (not Christmas gifts) and then did a little browsing.

I stopped into Fossil after seeing a purse in the window that caught my eye.

Fossil Maddox satchel

Oh my goodness, I instantly fell in love with this purse. I don’t usually go into Fossil, so this was quite a surprise. I love the shape and structure and am a complete fool for anything shimmery. The Fossil website describes this as a “shimmery metallic suede” – it’s a subtle metallic, not in your face. And I have to say, at $198, it’s pretty reasonable as far as purses go these days. Love this. Must find a way to get this. (I have a hard time buying for myself during the holidays because I try to be smart with money and really love buying gifts for others, so this is probably just a pipe-dream.)

I also stopped into JCrew. I love the way JCrew styles their clothes. I find their pieces to be fresh, modern and a good mix of trendy and classic, and also just a little outside of my comfort zone. However, that appeals to me more and more because I feel very blase about most of my current wardrobe. Apparently it needs a good jolt of energy and JCrew might be the right place for me now. I think a JCrew gift card may make it’s way onto my Christmas wish list this year.

The coats in JCrew really stood out to me today. There was a bright yellow, not quite sunshine-y but also not too mustard, and also a gorgeous cobalt blue one.

JCrew coat

I’m not totally sure this is the exact coat I saw today, but it just gives you a great idea of color and style. (It’s a bit reminiscent of Kate Middleton’s style, isn’t it?) At $325, it’s a bit on the high end, but a good coat can last for years.

So tell me…have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Have you stumbled on any unexpected surprises that stole your heart while doing so?

Purse image from Fossil.com and coat image from JCrew.com.